Complications and sequelae of meningococcal disease in Québec, 1990-1994
Objectif : To determine the frequency and the nature of complications and sequelae of serogroup B and serogroup C meningococcal disease, during a recrudescence caused by a virulent clone of serogroup C, serotype 2a Neisseria meningitidis. To evaluate the quality of life of survivors. Methods. The study population included all cases of culture-proven serogroup B and C meningococcal disease reported in the province of Quebec, Canada, between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 1994. Complications and sequelae were assessed by review of medical files, postal questionnaires, and telephone interviews. Results. There were 167 cases of serogroup B and 304 cases of serogroup C infection. The largest number of cases was observed in the under 1 year age group for serogroup B and in the 10-19 year age group for serogroup C. Fatality rates were 7% for serogroup B and 14% for serogroup C. %). Only 3% of survivors of serogroup B cases had physical sequelae. 15% of survivors of serogroup C infection had one or more significant physical sequelae (skin scars 12%, amputations 5%, significant sensorineural hearing loss 2%, renal failure 1%, other sequelae 4%. Among cases without identified physical sequelae who completed the questionnaire, 19% reported a reduction in their quality of life attributable to the disease. Conclusions. These results confirm the gravity of disease caused by serogroup C, serotype 2a Neisseria meningitidis and support vaccination for control of outbreaks and epidemics of disease caused by this particular strain.